SCOTTISH group AG Barr, the maker of Irn-Bru, shrugged off a very wet summer to outrun the wider soft drinks market at the end of the year.
Barr, expected to conclude a £1.4 billion agreed merger with rival Britic next month, said yesterday that it expected total sales in Q4 to be more than 5 per cent ahead of the previous year.
The group, whose chief executive Roger White will assume the same role in the new Barr Britvic Soft Drinks, said the likely result was “particularly pleasing” given the double-digit growth in the same quarter of last year.
Cumbernauld-based Barr said the strong performance gave it revenue expectations for the full year of £253 million – up 7 per cent.
“AG Barr has delivered a robust performance in a market place impacted by the combination of very poor summer weather and the ongoing economic challenges faced by consumer goods companies, notably raw material cost pressures and inconsistent consumer demand,” the company said. There had been a “very positive consumer response” to the “Irn-Bru gets you through” marketing campaign.
Its Rubicon and KA brands continued to build on strong performances in the previous year. Rockstar, meanwhile, had “seen a step change in its performance”.
Barr’s update came the day after Britvic, whose products also include Robinsons Barley Water, said UK sales volumes of its still drinks fell 6.4 per cent in its first quarter.